France and Germany have taken a united front in decrying Facebook’s Libra token, with France taking the stronger tone in a message that will not go down well at Facebook towers. The concept of a private currency has been shot down by just about every government that has commented on it, and the attacks continued this week from a familiar source.
Le Maire Sticks the Boot in Again
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire was an outspoken critic of Libra from the very moment it was announced, telling a French radio station back in June that it the idea of Libra as a viable global currency “must not happen.” Le Maire continued his diatribe against the token last week when he told a conference in Paris on virtual currencies that, “…in these conditions, we cannot authorize the development of Libra on European soil”, before touching on a key battle between sovereign and private currencies:
The monetary sovereignty of countries is at stake from a possible privatization of money … by a sole actor with more than 2 billion users on the planet.
Le Maire then flew to a meeting of EU finance ministers in Helsinki where he again commented on Libra. This time he issued a statement in conjunction with his German counterpart Olaf Scholz on the digital currency’s risks to monetary sovereignty, which stated that Libra “fails to convince that those risks will be properly addressed.”
Heilmann Lands a Further Blow
Scholz’s co-statement wasn’t the only discussion on the subject of Libra by a German politicians recently. German website Spiegel reported on Friday that the Federal Government is firmly against the concept, quoting Christian Democratic Union (CDU) parliamentarian Thomas Heilmann as saying that private stablecoins would not be allowed. This is significant because Heilmann is responsible for the blockchain policy of the CDU and Christian Social Union in Bavaria, which is set to be approved later in September. This new blockchain strategy is not against the idea of a stablecoin per se, just not a private one which would be outside the central bank’s influence, a concern echoed by almost every government that has commented on the project since its announcement three months ago. At this point it would be more of a surprise if the token ever saw the light of day than if it was ignominiously scrapped.